Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Uh.....

Jet lag OWNED me today.

I really thought I was fine, especially since I've been able to stay awake pretty late instead of crashing at 8pm.  Despite hitting the hay around midnight, I was up at 430am.  And since I had meetings from 6am to about 8:30, eh, I stayed awake.

And then I crashed until 2pm.  Ooops.

In my hazy state, I purchased a season pass to Disneyland.  What?
My bro and his wife are headed to CA tomorrow for his company's annual Disneyland trip; I figure I'll jump into that party for a couple days.  Haven't been to the Happiest Place on Earth since about 1986.  I hope I don't find it ridiculous.



Monday, November 28, 2011

Musical Monday

Back from Turkey.  Sad about it.  You'll read about it soon, once I'm done editing my 1200 photos.

In the meantime, enjoy this tune from Red Kite.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gratitude, Day 18

I am proud and grateful to live in the good ole US of A.

I especially love that my US Passport gets me into a lot of countries without having to get a visa in advance.


Merhaba Türkiye!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gratitude, Day 17

My mom took these photos out at our little Oklahoma farm a few days ago - I am missing Fall!  And my dog.
 Now that I'm out of small town America, I really appreciate where I grew up.  I had it good.  And it's nice to go back from time to time, to be reminded of a place where everyone knows you, neighbors wave when you drive by, and everyone's just as friendly and nice as they were in high school, even if the years have changed us a bit.
It's pretty there.  Even if I don't want to live there, it's nice to visit.  I'm thankful to have grown up in a little place in Oklahoma.

Weekend Recap

Megs took TONS of photos with her new camera when she visited this last weekend; I'm sure you can see them soon.

But here's the run down.

Watching the most intense episode of Grey's ever
Late night chats about boys (good and bad, of course)
The Misfit - green chile mac and cheese, bbq ribs and roasted squash
Shopping on Abbot Kinney, to find the perfect cake plate
Fell in love with furniture at Plantation
Vanilla Bake Shop - cupcakes galore
New boots in the rain
Persian dinner in real life with an online friend (it wasn't awkward)
Jim Bianco put on a show at Hotel Cafe
Fabric finding in the Fashion District
Lunch in Little Tokyo
Shopping in Silverlake
More cupcakes
Wardrobe mishaps/changing clothes a zillion times
Red lipstick
Singles wards service auction
Sorry!
Cafe 50s for Meg's birthday with the best shakes ever
Primary Program at church (Larry King sat in the row in front of us, and we had a Dr 90210 sighting in the foyer)
Lasagna lunch
Sad goodbyes, completed with best indie radio stations to listen to on the way out of town




Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gratitude, Day 16


I think it only hit me a couple years ago that if I want to buy and eat Fruity Pebbles, I can, because I'm a grownup.

Fruity Pebbles didn't hit the breakfast table often at my house growing up, but when they did, they were gone in an instant.  I think my brother and I competed to see who could get the most into one bowl, despite knowing that we'd eat two or three.

I'm thankful to be a grownup, so that I can eat what I want, when I want.  Cause today I've really only eaten sugar cookie dough, and it's awesome.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gratitude, Day 15

Today I watched last week's 20/20 with Gabby Giffords.

Get your Kleenex.

I'm thankful that I can walk down a flight of stairs to the mailbox without any problems to return some Netflix.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gratitude, Day 14

It's hard blogging every day, btw.

Even though the rain has stopped, there will be more of it this winter.  And thankfully FedEx was quick with my shipment and I got to enjoy these new boots over the weekend.  Puddle jumping is great.

Plus - they're aubergine.

Love 'em.

Maybe now I can properly attend Glastonbury.





Gratitude, Day 13

Last night I was digging out some things for my trip this week (this week!!  I am going to Turkey!!!) and realized that I should probably grab some books on my Kindle for the trip.

And you know what?  The whole magic Kindle Amazon Library loaning program finally started recently, after being announced months ago.  I finally figured it out, and a few clicks later I was set.

I am super thankful that I could fill my Kindle with enough books to last me the trip - I checked them out last night from the Phoenix library for 14 days, which is exactly when I'll be back.  And amazingly, I was able to get plenty to read from my long list of 'to read' even though some aren't available on Kindle format at all, and many other have long waiting lists.

Technology is a blessed thing.  Thanks, Amazon.  And public libraries.  And my Kindle gifter.  I shall be plenty entertained, even if the movie selection on the plane sucks.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gratitude, Day 12

A million thanks to King, for coordinating and securing tickets to the one band I have yet to experience live - the all amazing Radiohead.

Countdown to March 2012.  See you soon, Thom.


Gratitude, Day 11

I've been having too much with with Megs these last few days to blog, but I'm still thankful for things, don't worry.

I spent a little time one afternoon this week with a high school student who has applied to my alma mater. Alumni interviews are part of the application process, and I've spent the last 5 years or so, volunteering to meet with a handful of students each year, talking to them about Georgetown, and then writing a nice little report about them for the admissions committee.

As much as I want to be intimidating and ask obscure questions, I can't.

But it's nice cause to reflect on my college days, and I'm really thankful for my education.  There are lots of ways to be educated in today's world, and not every path is right for everyone.  But for me, being able to attend college was a great blessing.  I know that many struggle with options on where they can attend college or how to pay for it.  It's a privilege that I was able to go without too many hurdles (oh yeah, student loans still loom over my head a bit, but still worth it).

And where I went to school is probably one of the best decisions I've made in life so far.  For me, it was perfect. I am still sometimes amazed that I was accepted from a middle of nowhere town to this place with interesting people from all over the world.  But I was, and I went without question, and I had the time of my life.  It's taken me a lot of places and created great friendships, and I wouldn't change a thing about it.  Except maybe I should've studied more.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gratitude, Day 10

CLEAN SHEETS ARE THE BEST.

They smell nice.  I've finally succumbed to finding quarters and doing laundry at my own place.  Even if I have to drive to a bank to get quarters, cause the couch cushions are empty.

I will rest well tonight in my comfy, clean bed.


Em Eighty Threeeee

Remember that time a couple years ago when I was driving back to Phoenix after spending the weekend in LA, not totally realizing that M83 was playing with the LA Philharmonic right then at Walt Disney Concert Hall?

Well, I remember, and it stings a little.  Finally last night, redemption!  A new album, great material, and fairly cheap tickets.
I first came across M83 as part of my 2005 pre-Coachella crazy research for optimal festival experience downloading.  Strangely, I don't remember actually seeing M83 at Coachella, but I'm sure they were there.  And I've liked 'em ever since.  Saturdays = Youth?  Best part of 2008.  Hurry Up We're Dreaming, close to best of 2011.

I had high hopes and I wasn't disappointed.  There were a few lulls in energy and as Randy J would say - parts of it were a little pitchy.  But overall, pretty excellent.  The place was packed with a hot crowd.

Pleasantly surprised to hear an old favorite - Teen Angst, which kinda summed up how I've been feeling this week, as things have gotten a little stressful.  We Own the Sky was glorious, and segued perfectly into Steve McQueen.  The young dude on guitar looked like he was living the ultimate rock star dream whenever he sang.  I was jealous.

I was surprised to see Skin of the Night on setlist.  Keep the studio version for your makeout sessions.

The LA Weekly did a more extensive review here (for all 4 of my friends who listen to M83).


And this guy wants to sing with M83.  Hilarious.


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Gratitude, Day 9

I'm glad that someone invented gummy vitamins and calcium supplements.

I sure do love ice cream, but I've never been a milk drinker.  I'm on my way to getting old and I don't want osteoporosis! Two little gummy drops just now, and my bones are on their way to staying healthy.  Right?

Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Gratitude, Day 8

I'm thankful for friends who come visit me, especially since it's motivation to clean my room, put away all my clothes, get organized, finally hang stuff on my wall, etc.

We'll see how much of that I actually complete, but I am motivated!!

Oh, and it's a great excuse to eat out for every meal and go shopping and be a little bit touristy.

See you soon, Megs.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Gratitude, Day 7

Today I am thankful for electric blankets.

If you don't have one, you don't know what you're missing.  Turn that thing on 20 minutes before you get into bed, and you'll land in toasty heaven.

Fingers crossed I can refrain from turning on the heat in my apartment until December.


Musical Monday

New Snow Patrol - This Isn't Everything You Are, filmed in a tango hall in Argentina.
It's...interesting.

Gary - Marry Me?

Looks like my $ will be going to UK bands on tour next year...Snow Patrol, Coldplay, Florence + the Machine, and Radiohead, who announced the first few days of next year's tour.  Goody goody!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Gratitude, Day 6

Let's go with the easy one here - I'm grateful for an extra hour today.

Did I do anything productive with it?  Nah. But after an all day trip to visit them in San Diego yesterday, of course I was going to use it for sleep.

I haven't done Daylight Savings in four years.  This means I don't know how to change the clock in my car.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Gratitude, Day 5

Today I am grateful for public transportation.

I enjoyed eight years without a car in DC - it was my entire means of getting around.

And now in LA the subway is a total novelty, but man, taking a bus on a Friday night is loads of entertainment. I'd forgotten how stellar.  Thanks, LA Metro.

Friday, November 04, 2011

If You're Into Foreign Dramas

This is the best one I've seen in awhile.

Whoa.  Didn't see that coming.

Gratitude, Day 4

I'm grateful for my friends, however scattered over the globe they might be.  That's why they invented Skype.

I hesitate to call out specific people while giving thanks, but Christian deserves his own shout out.  A chance meeting at EFY in 1997 to cross-continental BFFs is a special thing. 

I'm grateful for his dedication to living a boyband life, as it provides lots of entertainment.  Except when he calls me when I'm out in public and "I Want It That Way" starts blaring from my phone.  He's Nick Carter, btw.
I'm grateful that when I decided to move to AZ from DC, he scrambled to help me pack up all my stuff in one day, after I miraculously found someone driving a moving van across the country, but I had to get everything loaded by the next evening.  Christian picked me up after work, we went to Uhaul to get boxes and we packed.  And then he came over again with friends the next night to help me load it all.  It was a humid summer day.  

I'm thankful that when I was lonely in AZ, he shared friends and family from his home state with me, so I'd have people to hang out with once I got there.  They are some of the best people I know. 

I'm grateful that he was visiting me in Arizona and wasn't in the car with me when I had a car accident on my way to the Grand Canyon in 2008.  He hijacked my grandma's Lincoln, drove two hours and found five weary people hanging out at the Denny's of Flagstaff who needed a ride back to Phoenix.  My friends were visiting from DC and he asked them how they liked hiking Camel....back Mountain, except he didn't say 'back.'  I still laugh thinking about that moment.  

I'm grateful that he let me crash a wedding with him so I could finally visit Northern California. 
I'm glad that when I was hating AZ after only being there for a few months, I could fly right back to DC, crash his house, and go on a roadtrip to Philly for cheesesteaks.  
And then a month later I'd go back and he'd make sure I didn't die at my one and only Duck Beach experience.  Because it's kind of overwhelming.  
I'm grateful that he convinced me to go to Puerto Rico over Valentine's Day and got us sweet hotel rooms with all his points from work travel.  I'll refrain from posting him singing an 'N Sync song in Spanish that I have from that trip.  But it was a stellar weekend.

 We crashed the private beach at the Ritz.
 And he's not too cool to wear a linen suit.
I'm amazed and thankful that we're still friends after all these years, despite only living in the same city for a year together.  I know I can call him anytime.  He still provides me with a little wisdom, some guidance, and lots of entertainment.  Slick, te corazono! EFY for life.  




  

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Gratitude, Day 3

For the last four years I have lived in glorious, sunny weather, never having to see snow unless I want to.  Arizona and SoCal are good for that.  I hate being cold.

Good luck to all of you in the NE this winter!  Snotober isn't a good sign of what's to come in the next few months.

It's November in Los Angeles, and my windows are down.


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Gratitude, Day 2

For my first few months here in LA I attended a singles ward for church, and since I knew I'd be aging out in 3 months or so, I was ambivalent about getting involved.  I'd be moving on soon to a regular ward, what was the point of jumping into an assignment when I'd be leaving in a few weeks?

I was a bit nervous about my transition back to "regular church," full of old and young, babies, newlyweds, etc. Where would I fit, would I make friends, find people to relate to, etc?  However, I did know all along that I really wanted to fully jump in and do whatever I need to do to get involved and have people get to know me.

I am really grateful for how welcome I feel and opportunities that have arisen for me to participate and make friends, even though I've only officially attended this congregation for two weeks.  

I met my new bishop, and we had a great introductory conversation.  And turns out we had tickets to the same concert a couple weeks ago.  That's an excellent sign.

I already have home teachers who visited me.  One is from Mauritius, the other from France - we will have French lessons each time they visit me.  They are both gregarious and we'll be friends, I'm sure.

My visiting teacher emailed me today.  She spoke in sacrament meeting a couple weeks ago with her husband, who I recognized from my DC days.  I had hoped we could be friends, and now we will be.

I know two other people in the ward from DC (all the way back to 1999).  They've invited me over for dinner on Sunday.  Yay!

I've gotten a couple phone calls from other people in the ward, wanting to welcome me in, and even asking if I can fill in on the organ from time to time.  Sigh, maybe I let that news out too soon, but I'm happy to play.  And I'm going to make dessert for a Relief Society cooking class in a couple weeks. I'm excited.

If only every new member or visitor at church felt like I do.  There's a challenge to me, to be as welcoming to everyone else as they've been to me.  This is gonna be good.  

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

November Challenge

30 days of November = 30 days of posts of things for which I'm grateful.

Chantal's already kicked things off, and I think I'll follow her lead, seeing that we are in Thanksgiving month already! And I don't really feel like blogging much lately, so this will maybe help me stay current.  

There will not be any particular order to my gratitude and it will potentially run from extremely shallow to the profound, but I will be grateful for each of these things.

So....

#1

My hearing.
There's so much good music out there, especially lately, and I'm glad I get to listen to it all.  It makes me happy.  I've long answered in the 'would you rather be blind or deaf' hypothetical that I'd rather be blind, so that I could continue to have music running through my ears, even though my independence might be more hindered without sight.

Music isn't the only thing worth hearing, of course, but it's the one that makes me most happy.

Speaking of, it's almost time to compile my Best of 2011 and start mix making.  Cheers to Spotify for making that a little easier this year.

I Can't Sew

To all of you who kept arriving at my blog wanting to know how to make a twister costume - sorry I didn't have more details.  I bought the game, handed it to a friend, and she made the dresses.

I'm about to lose my blogging job anyway, since someone else is clearly doing a better job at documenting my adventures.

Back to Bulgaria with some Amsterdam

After a long day of driving we made it to Plovdiv. We had booked an Airbnb place with a Bulgarian guy - took us a minute to find his apartme...